German research project aims for more powerful EV drivetrain

24th June 2015
Barney Scott

HV-ModAL, a German research project to improve the power of EV drive trains, aims to create an electric drive train modular system toolbox which is suitable for a wide range of EVs, within three years. Thus, the ten partners from the whole automotive value chain and the sciences intend to further expand the global market position of the German automotive industry in the field of EVs – pure electric, PHEVs and small transport vehicles.

The power bandwidth should be between 50 and 250kW with the range of the vehicles further extended. Today, 125kW and a range of 150km are typical. HV-ModAL is a German acronym that translates as “Modular drivetrain topologies for electric vehicles with high power”.

During the first project stage, the HV-ModAL research partners intend to come to an understanding of electric drive platforms that is shared throughout the automotive value creation chain. Then they will conduct extensive concept and component research to determine the individual components that can be best coordinated with each other for such electric drive platforms.

Among other things, research will address IGBT power modules for high-power drives up to 250kW and high voltages of up to 900V, modular multi-level DC/DC converters, batteries with integrated DC/DC converters, and system components for batteries over 600V. To describe and define these components, then best tune them to one another, the partners are constructing a common, flexible system simulation model for different vehicle platforms.

To verify the theoretical results, optimised components and architectures will be built as demonstration models, and tested. The results will be the basis for the HV-ModAL system designs, and ultimately the modular system toolbox for the broadest possible range of electric drives.

Over the duration of the project, about €7.5m will be invested. About 50% of that amount will be funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project will run until December 31, 2017. Infineon Technologies has the project lead.

A total of ten partners from the automobile industry and research institutions are collaborating. They include the automobile manufacturers BMW AG and Daimler AG, the automobile system supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, the drive system developer AVL with its subsidiaries in Stuttgart and Regensburg, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB) in Erlangen, the Leibnitz Universität Hannover, the Universität der Bundeswehr München and RWTH Aachen University, and the semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies AG.

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